Tuesday, November 07, 2017

MTA is Ready For the Next Hurricane

Watching the destructive hurricanes of 2017—Irma, Harvey, and Maria—brought back some memories for New Yorkers, who just passed the five-year mark since Superstorm Sandy. The anniversary has led many to question whether America’s largest city has done enough to prepare for the next big one. But a big piece of the protection puzzle just went into place.

The 2012 hurricane forced the closing of the Hugh Carey (formerly Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Hopefully, that’s the last time something like that will happen. The MTA’s Bridges and Tunnels Division has now installed massive 25-ton floodgates on the Manhattan side of the Hugh Carey Tunnel.

The $64 million floodgate project is halfway completed, MTA Deputy Chief Engineer Romolo DeSantis tells local news. The restoration of the Hugh Carey Tunnel also required a complete rebuilding of electrical, lighting, and pumping systems, and then ceiling panels and wall tiles after that.

Bridges in other parts of New York, like Queens, are also getting similarly imposing bridges. DeSantis says they’re built with a worst case scenario in mind: They’re capable of handling a storm 4 feet higher than Sandy. With any luck, it won’t get tested to its limits.

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